WHAT IS CHRISTIANITY?
Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. Baptism doesn’t make you a Christian. Doing charitable works doesn’t make you a Christian. Not even belief in God makes you a Christian … even the devil believes in God! Important as these things are, they don't make you a Christian. What is it, then, that makes you a Christian? What do Christians actually believe?
We believe that God made the universe with all its incredible mathematical order, design and immensity so that he could share his love with us. Yet God does not force us to accept his love. He gave us free will so that we could choose to accept or reject him.
Unfortunately, the Bible teaches (and our experience confirms) that no one is perfect enough or worthy enough to live life in company with a holy God. All of us have been ruined by sin to some extent and feel unworthy or awkward in God’s presence.
The good news of Christianity is that God loved us so much that he solved our sin problem by coming to us as the human being, Jesus Christ, to die on a cross and pay the penalty for our sins.
Our sin problem, which made us ineligible for life with God, has therefore been solved by Jesus. Christians are those who gratefully accept what Jesus has done for them. He has taken their sinfulness away and given them the free gift of his own holiness.
Christians are those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. God’s will has first and total priority. Christianity is therefore no easy option. It is tough. We are called to live the same radical life of sacrificial love that Jesus did. Fortunately, God promises to help us do this by giving us his Spirit (his very own empowering presence). God also invites us to repent when we fail so that we can receive his forgiveness—then get up and keep going.
Christians are a people of hope. God has promised that those who have accepted His invitation of life with him will share a special life with God, both now and in eternity.
Christians are therefore those who have accepted a loving, personal friendship with God and who respond to God’s love by seeking to do his will.
WHY IS THE BIBLE IMPORTANT?
The Bible, written over a 1,500-year period, is a record of how people have grown to understand their God through what he has said and done in their history. The fact that writings commenced in the bronze age should be so relevant to us in the space age is testimony to their special status as Scripture.
Christians believe that although the Bible reflects the worldview and culture of its time, the consistent principles contained within it are those things which God wants us to know. It particularly contains the witness of events upon which our faith is founded—most importantly, the life, works and teaching of Jesus Christ. As such, Christians love the Bible. They study it and measure everything they do against its principles.
WHY GO TO CHURCH?
God is a God of relationships. Christians therefore care for each other (as well as those who are not Christians) and seek to develop loving friendships. They meet together to worship, to encourage each other, to grow their faith, and to co-ordinate their Christian work in the community.